Elizabeth Fry Place, SE18

Place Name

Elizabeth Fry (May 21, 1780 – October 21 1845), was a prison reformer, Quaker and philanthropist. She was born Elizabeth Gurney into a wealthy Norfolk banking family and in 1800 married Joseph Fry, an heir to the chocolate production family. She became a passionate supporter of prison reform after seeing the conditions of women prisoners at Newgate Gaol. In 1817 she helped found the Association for the Reformation of the Female Prisoners in Newgate. But as well as prison reform she also took an interest in healthcare. In 1836 she visited the world’s first school for nurses in Kaiserwerth, Germany. She was so impressed that four years later she opened the UK’s first nursing school. This connection to the nursing profession led to hospital wards being named in her honour.  This road was laid out over the old Brook Hospital (formerly Brook Fever Hospital), which had an Elizabeth Fry Ward and in turn gave this road its name when the hospital was demolished and a residential development laid out over the estate in the mid-1990s.




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